Welcome to the latest edition of Missed Fists where we shine a light on fights from across the globe that may have been overlooked in these hectic times where it seems like there’s an MMA show every other day.
We were spoilt for choice this week as far as leads go. Do we go with the always chaotic ring out? How about a sub-30-second banger from Korea? Or a good old-fashioned head kick? And that’s not even mentioning the gruesome and nearly inexplicable injury that happened at CFFC in the late hours of-that’s right-April 1.
In the end, we decided to make our first stop in Yerevan, Armenia.
Rafik Hakobyan vs. Hamik Bezik
Seyedvali Dehghan vs. Vahagn Hovsepyan
AL: At Mix Fight Events 46 last Saturday, lightweight Rafik Hakobyan sent opponent Hamik Bezik on a journey. He knocked him in and around the ring, then eventually out of it, which somehow did not prompt a stoppage even though it looked like Bezik slid headfirst to the floor.
Madness at Mix Fight 46 as Rafik Hakobyan knocks Hamik Bezki out of the ring, and then they restart the fight. Finished him twice. pic.twitter.com/s34ZUcnmhQ— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 27, 2021
That’s really exploring the studio space there.
JM: That’s a little thing called good cornering AND good refereeing. Sure, one guy clearly was completely destroyed such that he dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes falling off the back of a wagon, and sure, the people in that guy’s corner ostensibly care about his health and safety, but why not send him back out there for a second obliteration?
AL: It was apparently decided that Bezik escaping the ring there saved him from a TKO, so the bout continued… and Bezik quickly lost by TKO.
JM: So instead of Bezik going out on his shield, his team and the ref decided it would be better for him to get punched some more and lose while covering up like a kid who wears glasses getting beasted by the bully who was held back two years? Right. Again, well done all around.
AL: As this was a show with mostly inexperienced fighters, there was even more wildness to be expected. Sure enough, here’s Seyedvali Dehghan getting the better of a slopfest against fellow pro debutant Vahagn Hovsepyan.
Jeeeez. Brutal faceplant KO by Seyedvali Dehghan at Mix Fight Events 46 pic.twitter.com/CHkCnbJ0YD— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 27, 2021
JM: The swings in this one! Both literally and metaphorically. I thought for sure Hovsepyan was closing in on the finish and then suddenly he was in the land of wind and ghosts. That was fun and nobody showed an egregious dereliction of duty! Wahoo!
Park Seung-Mo vs. Nandin-Erdene Munguntsooj
AL: From Road FC’s ARC 004 event (free fights available on YouTube) in Seoul last Saturday, Park Seung-Mo and Nandin-Erdene Munguntsooj got after it, to say the least.
Simply put, one of the best one-round fights of the year. Bless these mad lads.
JM: A total disregard for defense from two fighters tends to lead to wonderful calamity and that’s exactly what we got here. That’s the most fun minute of fighting you’ll see all year.
Lucia Szabova vs. Cristina Netza
AL: As I was saying, placing Lucia Szabova’s head kick KO of Cristina Netza from OKTAGON 22 in Brno, Czech Republic, this late in the conversation is almost criminal. Then again, so was the fight itself.
JM: Oof. That’s the kind of KO that might ruin an entire career. The way she fell, like a marionette that had her strings clipped. That was a rough one.
AL: “Queen Bee” improved to 3-0 as a pro and she has smoked her competition so far. Keep an eye on this budding bantamweight talent out of Slovakia.
Ekaterina Shakalova vs. Izabela Badurek
Andrey Khokhlov vs. Mansur Abdurzakov
Speaking of talented bantamweights to watch, 23-year-old Ukrainian Ekaterina Shakalova (5-1) won her fourth straight fight on Saturday with a unanimous decision win over one-time UFC fighter Izabela Badurek at a Fight Exclusive Night show in Lodz, Poland.
The highlight of the fight was Shakalova’s beastly slam in the third.
Ekaterina Shakalova pic.twitter.com/Y5o9gU8NBq— Streetfight Banned-cho (@streetfitebncho) March 27, 2021
JM: On the one hand, that slam was dope. On the other, Shakalova getting reversed out of side control like that was not great. However, Shakalova’s name is cool so on balance, we’re gonna call this a win.
AL: The card featured another 23-year-old Ukrainian in action, Andrey Khokhlov. Now 12-7, Khokhlov has been in his fair share of scraps and clearly knows how to deal with a poorly-timed leg kick.
It took Khokhlov all of 65 seconds to end this one.
JM: This makes no sense. I was assured that the low calf kick is an unstoppable weapon of such dangerous magnitude that we needed to ban it from fighting. How is Khoklov manage to defeat it so easily? Is this man a future world champion?!?
AL: You want more fast finishes? Here’s Vanessa Demopoulos smoking Cynthia Arceo in just 37 seconds from LFA 103 (available on UFC Fight Pass).
JM: What’s awesome about this clip is that Demopoulous lands literally every strike she throws on a moving (stumbling?) target. Forget the three-piece and a soda, Demopoulous gave Arceo the full family platter with the biscuits.
AL: Demopoulos fell short in her Contender Series opportunity last August, but she’s an exciting fighter and I think she gets another Contender Series shot or a short-notice call to a major promotion soon. Her past three opponents have all been signed to the UFC.
Devin Goodale vs. Khetag Pliev
Jonathan Piersma vs. Thomas Majeski
Solomon Renfro vs. Nick Alley
(Warning: Section contains video and images of graphic injury)
Alright, let’s talk about the finger. I wrote about this absurd incident from Cage Fury FC 94 last night, but I’m sure the world is waiting for your take on it. There’s probably some joke to be made here about Missed Fists and missing fingers, but I certainly won’t do it.
JM: I woke up to some dude having lost a finger in a cage fight, which is definitely a first. When I read the headline I assumed it was some accident in the cage but the fact that this possibly came from a kick is wild and frankly, disgusting.
More importantly though, if homie doesn’t start walking out as Khetag “Ronnie Lott” Pliev, then he’s missing a huge opportunity.
AL: Internet sleuths have been breaking down the injury ever since and from what they can surmise the initial damage may have been done by a kick early in the fight. It also appears that the finger was bent back into the glove and perhaps only partially separated?
Either way: BARF!
JM: Yeah when I saw that, everything made way more sense. Unless Goodale had a hatchet for a foot, there’s no reason Khetag’s finger should’ve been gone. Just a severe dislocation and the glove keeping it.
Anyway, can we please stop talking about this horrible thing? I’m trying to eat breakfast.
AL: The good news is that Pliev posted an update this morning and it sounds like the finger was found and successfully reattached.
In more wholesome MMA fun, Jonathan Piersma picked up a sweet omoplata submission against Thomas Majeski.
JM: Look, I’m normally dismissive of omoplata subs as it tends to be one of those things like the Von Preux choke - it shouldn’t happen. Omoplata is more of a sweep than a submission, or at least it should be. However, in this instance I will at least say that Piersma got what appeared to be a tremendous amount of torque going on there so that was cool.
AL: We saw the perfect leg kick counter earlier, here’s Solomon Renfro with the perfect submission defense: Hammerfist, hammerfist, hammerfist, hammerfist, hammerfist.
JM: Have you ever seen someone’s will break in real time? Because that’s what that was. “Ah man, holding this is hurting, I’m just gonna let go and stop getting punched in the face.” Can’t blame the man, it’s the reasonable thing to do.
AL: We have to give a shout-out to veteran Evan Cutts who was in a thriller with Bassil Hafez and won a split decision to capture the CFFC welterweight title.
I remember Cutts for when he was thrown into a fight with B.J.’s brother Reagan Penn at a ProElite show in 2011 (Cutts won, Penn never fought again) and for his awesome LFA fight with Ramiz Brahimaj in 2018. A respectable journeyman of the highest order.
CFFC 94 is available for replay on UFC Fight Pass.
Anton Turkalj vs. Konstantin Soldatov
Jarrah Hussein Al-Silawi vs. Ismail Naurdiev
Brave CF 50 also featured several former UFC fighters, but let’s start with a look at unbeaten light heavyweight Anton Turkalj (7-0), who could be octagon-bound any day now.
That’s a 13-second finish right there, folks, and yes, that is the fastest knockout in Brave CF history.
JM: The best part about this is not even Turkalj, it’s Soldatov running at him with both arms fully extended to his sides like he’s about to do a Three Stooges ear clap on Tukalj. Then, BOOM, he gone. As my buddy Mookie Alexander said, you should never go Full Todd Duffee.
AL: In the main event, Jarrah Hussein Al-Silawi successfully defended his 175-pound belt with this second-round leg kick finish of recent UFC competitor Ismail Naurdiev.
JM: I know he lost, but I would also like to take a moment to appreciate that snatch single from Naurdiev. Sure, he was already functionally done when he grabbed it, but that was pretty.
AL: Also, Ali Bagautinov topped Dustin Ortiz in a battle of former UFC flyweight contenders and Velimurad Alkhasov won a close one over former Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky. Bagautinov moves on to face friend of The A-Side Jose Torres.
Lastly, The Ultimate Fighter 27 winner Brad Katona scored a third-round guillotine choke submission win in his first fight since parting ways with the UFC in 2019. This is Katona’s first win in almost two and a half years.
Tomoya Yokoyama vs. Yusuke Kojima
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Tomoya Yokoyama’s absolute rocket from day two of K-1’s K’FESTA event in Tokyo this past Sunday.
Not sure there’s much to break down when one guy lands a bomb 29 seconds into the fight.
JM: K’FESTA is always good for some awesome highlights. What I like about this is Kojima isn’t out of it. He’s still conscious, he’s just making a business decision. Again, can’t fault anyone for knowing when to lay them down.
AL: Just like us, we’re never finished, but we know when it’s time to call it a day. For now is the time on Sprockets where we dance. Take it away, Titan FC’s Slava Borshchev!
What was the most memorable Missed Fists moment this week?
This poll is closed
Rafik Hakobyan’s ring out reset
Park Seung-Mo’s 28-second brawl KO
Lucia Szabova’s head kick
Khetag Pliev almost loses a finger
Anton Turkalj’s record-breaking KO
Other (leave comment below)
If you know of a recent fight or event that you think may have been overlooked, or a promotion that could use some attention, please let us know on Twitter – @JedKMeshew and @AlexanderKLee – using the hashtag #MissedFists.